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Old 05-13-2017, 06:19 PM
 
Location: CT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
Stephen Hawking seems to feel we must find and colonize a new planet within the next 100 years or humankind will perish. Apparently this is also a promotion for a new series of Hawking's that will air this summer. Although we don't know the details of the series, what's your opinion?

Stephen Hawking: Humans have 100 years to find a new planet
Although Hawking is intelligent, he is not a seer.
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Old 05-14-2017, 08:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Hawking is always good for a headline. His accuracy is off often enough that he self-corrects as he sees fit and has new information.
That seems like a fair assessment. His previous prediction (as stated in the article) gave humanity 1,000 years. Now he's reduced it to 100 years?
Again, it's a promo for a BBC documentary. You're right, it's an attention-grabbing headline. Perhaps he's just suggesting we should be starting a serious migration off Earth to a suitable planet within 100 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if extensive colonization of the moon happened sooner than expected. A few underground low radiation nukes blasting bubbles protected from surface hazards could make ample space for habitats. The power potential from solar on the moon is just crazy, as are sources of intense heat and cold. From an engineering standpoint, it is probably a more stable environment for structures lasting millennia than Earth. Biological isolation of colonies would also be fairly simple. The big issue would be building the carousels in the bubbles required to bring an ersatz gravity up to near Earth levels. We simply aren't designed to live long term in low gravity. We might get away with just sleeping and rec quarters being full gravity, and a workday in moon gravity, but not all the time.
I agree that using the Moon as a testing location would be more sensible to determine how feasible colonization might be. The Moon is closer, and materials can be more easily shipped. It would also be a good place to launch for other locations, like Mars.

I'm not sure if it would be necessary to blast a few pits to make space for habitats. There are Lunar Pits on the Moon, about 200 or so known that range in size from about 5 yards to about 984 yards. It's suspected they are collapsed parts of lava tube systems. There might also be cave-like tubes on either side of the Lunar Pits. These formations could be used to assemble habitats on the Moon.
https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard...he-moon-formed

I'm not so sure the Moon would make a great location for extensive colonization, depending on how the word "extensive" is defined. It might be adequate as a temporary location for some kind of emergency situation. But for long term, probably not. People would have to move on. In a catastrophic scenario of the Earth within 100 years, most likely the vast majority of Earth's population would be left behind on Earth to face whatever the impending doom might be.
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Old 05-14-2017, 08:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I think we'll be able to start it: Mars. That could happen in the next 20 years. Then again...I don't know how the underground environments they'd live in would be better than Earth, unless we had a nuclear war and radiation made the Earth uninhabitable, or some kind pandemic...which really isn't outside the realm of possibility.

I bet we could end up with a few thousand people living on Mars in the next hundred years, assuming it's possible to live there without experiencing major health problems/child-birthing problems from the low gravity, and residents can stay out of the radiation enough for that not to be life-threatening, and they can grow enough food and take care of all their other needs.

I could imagine some pandemic occurring on Earth, or a nuclear war and a few thousand people living on Mars and surviving there and coming back a few decades later to take back the planet. A few hundred would be more likely. A few dozen researchers wouldn't seem implausible at all, and that could be enough to re-take the earth if they can lead fulfilling enough of lives on Mars.

My biggest concern about Mars is the low gravity. I imagine we could do something about the radiation, and find ways to grow food there, but if low gravity makes childbirth impossible or dangerous, we can't change that and that's pretty much a dead end insofar as a backup planet is concerned. So, is the approximately 1/3 of Earth's gravity that Mars has that big of a problem? That's the question I'm most interested in.
I don't think Mars is going to be a suitable planet. You've pretty well included some obstacles that could well prevent that, at least within the 100 years scenario. I seriously doubt there could be "a few thousand people living on Mars in the next hundred years". The cost to send spacecraft to shuttle people from Earth to Mars would be profoundly expensive - a price tag that would stagger the imagination.

Another drawback to Mars is it's close proximity to the Asteroid Belt. Not all those craters on the planet are millions of years old. Link below is of a recent meteor hit in March 2012 (before and after images). There have been others as well.
Huge New Mars Crater Found by NASA Spacecraft (Photos)

It's not like it's raining meteors on Mars, but it's more frequent than here on Earth, and something that should be given consideration. There's not much of an atmosphere to help slow them down. Other than Earth, Mars is the closest location that's remotely similar to Earth. But that's not saying much. If Mars should prove to be unsuitable for humans to colonize, what resources would there be to build more spacecrafts to leave Mars? Who would build them? Who would construct and operate factories large enough to produce the materials necessary to build a fleet of rockets to leave Mars if necessary? Could all that be accomplished within 100 years? I'm not that optimistic. It'd take a lot more than a few thousand specialists to do that. A large number of robots could be used, but where would all those robots come from? Most likely from Earth. As said, the cost would be staggering and 100 years might not be long enough.

If we could feasibly accomplish such a migration, you can bet that only a small fraction of the Earth's population will be sent. Why not build a fleet of mobile space habitats the size of a large cities instead? I'm not so sure that could be done within 100 years though.
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Old 05-15-2017, 12:30 PM
 
Location: CT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
I don't think Mars is going to be a suitable planet. You've pretty well included some obstacles that could well prevent that, at least within the 100 years scenario. I seriously doubt there could be "a few thousand people living on Mars in the next hundred years". The cost to send spacecraft to shuttle people from Earth to Mars would be profoundly expensive - a price tag that would stagger the imagination.

Another drawback to Mars is it's close proximity to the Asteroid Belt. Not all those craters on the planet are millions of years old. Link below is of a recent meteor hit in March 2012 (before and after images). There have been others as well.
Huge New Mars Crater Found by NASA Spacecraft (Photos)

It's not like it's raining meteors on Mars, but it's more frequent than here on Earth, and something that should be given consideration. There's not much of an atmosphere to help slow them down. Other than Earth, Mars is the closest location that's remotely similar to Earth. But that's not saying much. If Mars should prove to be unsuitable for humans to colonize, what resources would there be to build more spacecrafts to leave Mars? Who would build them? Who would construct and operate factories large enough to produce the materials necessary to build a fleet of rockets to leave Mars if necessary? Could all that be accomplished within 100 years? I'm not that optimistic. It'd take a lot more than a few thousand specialists to do that. A large number of robots could be used, but where would all those robots come from? Most likely from Earth. As said, the cost would be staggering and 100 years might not be long enough.

If we could feasibly accomplish such a migration, you can bet that only a small fraction of the Earth's population will be sent. Why not build a fleet of mobile space habitats the size of a large cities instead? I'm not so sure that could be done within 100 years though.
The real problem with Mars is, the surface will never be habitable, even with a degree of terraforming it will never sustain humans because of it's weak magnetic field. Radiation will keep any pioneers either inside hardened habitats or under ground. To turn it into earth 2.0 is impossible. The problem with space based habitats is resources, you can't make something out of nothing, at least on a planet you might be able to extract resources to sustain life. We are still in our infancy in space exploration, we are just beginning to learn how to look for life sustaining worlds, we can't afford not to continue. To find an alternative in the next hundred years, probably not going to happen. If our species perishes before we learn to curb our path of self destruction, it is perhaps manifest destiny.
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:01 PM
 
5,203 posts, read 8,204,697 times
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Originally Posted by snowtired14 View Post
The real problem with Mars is, the surface will never be habitable, even with a degree of terraforming it will never sustain humans because of it's weak magnetic field. Radiation will keep any pioneers either inside hardened habitats or under ground. To turn it into earth 2.0 is impossible. The problem with space based habitats is resources, you can't make something out of nothing, at least on a planet you might be able to extract resources to sustain life. We are still in our infancy in space exploration, we are just beginning to learn how to look for life sustaining worlds, we can't afford not to continue. To find an alternative in the next hundred years, probably not going to happen. If our species perishes before we learn to curb our path of self destruction, it is perhaps manifest destiny.
I have to agree with you, at least in that a sizable migration isn't likely to happen within the next 100 years, if ever. We simply don't know if humans can survive living long term on Mars or anywhere else in the solar system. I also agree that resources will be a critical part of such a plan. However, I do think that we'll have a much better understanding about Mars within 100 years, through the use of better orbiters and rovers. I also think that humans will eventually establish a base on Mars, although human occupation might be temporary and basically serve as a scientific research base.

The weaker gravity of Mars, about 40% of that of Earth's, would probably cause some problems, but I think it would be possible to adapt to it. The trade-off is that with weaker bones and muscles, returning to Earth could be potentially dangerous in that their weak bones could break more easily from Earth's stronger gravitational force. As for magnetic fields, there are a few magnetic pockets scattered around the surface here and there. Not the same as a global magnetic field, but perhaps useful for communications between Mars and Earth.
ESA Science & Technology: Mars' ionosphere shaped by crustal magnetic fields

The plan of Mars One is to start launching humans to Mars in the latter 2020s or 2030s with the occupants being sent on a one-way trip. The intention is that they will never return to Earth. Additional flights would occur to increase the population. IMO, there's a high chance such a plan will fail and all the occupants will end up dead a lot sooner than their typical life expectancy. Essentially, it's a suicide venture. It would be far better to use robotic missions to establish and construct a potential habitat.

Below is a video of hopefuls and their interest in going to Mars. To me, it seems kind of sad because what I'm hearing is about the romantic notion of taking part of an historical venture to spend the rest of their lives on Mars and live happily ever after. There's no mention about what these people expect to do once they are there. There's no real understanding about the possibility that the ship could crash onto the surface, or if successful, that some will get bored of doing various routine tasks day after day after day, for years and decades until they die. There's no mention of what they will do if their critical life support systems should fail. Mars One should at least provide a return to Earth option. They need to make sure that everything about such a venture is successful for the occupants to successfully survive. Mars One has indicated that the first few groups of travelers avoid having children. Further, if crops fail, and that could happen, it's not like people can go outside to look for food. It seems more like a lethal experiment. The Mars One habitats are not spacious, they'd be very cramped, and there will be little to no privacy.

IMO, there isn't any planet or moon in the solar system that is suitable for human habitation on a long term basis. We do not yet have that kind of technology. If human habitation of planets or moons in the solar system is not feasible, then why bother with it at all? Why not concentrate on developing large mobile habitats in space (assuming such a cost could be feasible)? Or why not start out by building habitats on the Moon? Use the Moon as a steeping stone to practice before leaping off to Mars or elsewhere.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaE_cLn8vac
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:05 PM
 
Location: CT
3,460 posts, read 1,913,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
I have to agree with you, at least in that a sizable migration isn't likely to happen within the next 100 years, if ever. We simply don't know if humans can survive living long term on Mars or anywhere else in the solar system. I also agree that resources will be a critical part of such a plan. However, I do think that we'll have a much better understanding about Mars within 100 years, through the use of better orbiters and rovers. I also think that humans will eventually establish a base on Mars, although human occupation might be temporary and basically serve as a scientific research base.

The weaker gravity of Mars, about 40% of that of Earth's, would probably cause some problems, but I think it would be possible to adapt to it. The trade-off is that with weaker bones and muscles, returning to Earth could be potentially dangerous in that their weak bones could break more easily from Earth's stronger gravitational force. As for magnetic fields, there are a few magnetic pockets scattered around the surface here and there. Not the same as a global magnetic field, but perhaps useful for communications between Mars and Earth.
ESA Science & Technology: Mars' ionosphere shaped by crustal magnetic fields

The plan of Mars One is to start launching humans to Mars in the latter 2020s or 2030s with the occupants being sent on a one-way trip. The intention is that they will never return to Earth. Additional flights would occur to increase the population. IMO, there's a high chance such a plan will fail and all the occupants will end up dead a lot sooner than their typical life expectancy. Essentially, it's a suicide venture. It would be far better to use robotic missions to establish and construct a potential habitat.

Below is a video of hopefuls and their interest in going to Mars. To me, it seems kind of sad because what I'm hearing is about the romantic notion of taking part of an historical venture to spend the rest of their lives on Mars and live happily ever after. There's no mention about what these people expect to do once they are there. There's no real understanding about the possibility that the ship could crash onto the surface, or if successful, that some will get bored of doing various routine tasks day after day after day, for years and decades until they die. There's no mention of what they will do if their critical life support systems should fail. Mars One should at least provide a return to Earth option. They need to make sure that everything about such a venture is successful for the occupants to successfully survive. Mars One has indicated that the first few groups of travelers avoid having children. Further, if crops fail, and that could happen, it's not like people can go outside to look for food. It seems more like a lethal experiment. The Mars One habitats are not spacious, they'd be very cramped, and there will be little to no privacy.

IMO, there isn't any planet or moon in the solar system that is suitable for human habitation on a long term basis. We do not yet have that kind of technology. If human habitation of planets or moons in the solar system is not feasible, then why bother with it at all? Why not concentrate on developing large mobile habitats in space (assuming such a cost could be feasible)? Or why not start out by building habitats on the Moon? Use the Moon as a steeping stone to practice before leaping off to Mars or elsewhere.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaE_cLn8vac
Yeah, I don't know for sure that they may prepared for the desperate and painful day to day struggle with survival. It sounds very familiar with early settlers, they came to a land that was unfamiliar, possibly different weather conditions, they had to survive on what was immediately around them, build everything from scratch, and there were dangers from wildlife to the unfriendly natives. Mars would be no different, except that if they realized they had made a mistake, they can't hitch the horses to the wagon and go home.
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:38 PM
 
Location: CT
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Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
I finally watched that whole video. YIKES!!! I'd hate to be locked in a can with a couple of those characters. It sounded like they all came from the same therapy group, depressed and nothing to live for. Wait til they go to Mars.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by snowtired14 View Post
Yeah, I don't know for sure that they may prepared for the desperate and painful day to day struggle with survival. It sounds very familiar with early settlers, they came to a land that was unfamiliar, possibly different weather conditions, they had to survive on what was immediately around them, build everything from scratch, and there were dangers from wildlife to the unfriendly natives. Mars would be no different, except that if they realized they had made a mistake, they can't hitch the horses to the wagon and go home.
You're right that the people in the video probably aren't prepared for such a dangerous trip with the prospect of never seeing or experiencing Earth again. Just the trip to get to the Red Planet would be like traveling in a large soup can. Once they land on the surface, the soup can will still be their home, at least until other modules arrive with more people. Even with several modules connected together, that space would start to seem like it's getting smaller. For outdoor excursions, that too would have to be carefully planned. The modules would have to be connected and sealed. Finding water would certainly be a priority, unless robotics arrive before the humans to search and drill for water that can be pumped out and filtered.

While there are some similarities between Earth and Mars, the differences are extreme, making Mars a very alien and hostile place. Fine toxic dust that clings to everything. Atmospheric pressure that's about 1% of the pressure found at sea level on Earth. No plants. No signs of life anywhere. Just dust and rocks and craters and hills. Since Mars is farther away from the Sun than the Earth is, the daytime sky would not be as bright as it is on Earth.
ESA Science & Technology: Mars' ionosphere shaped by crustal magnetic fields

At least the early settlers had air to breath, water to drink, a variety of food that could be found, harvested or hunted, a wide variety of resources to make all sorts of things. There are a lot of things on Earth that can be somewhat taken for granted. But the environment of Mars is very different from the Earth. What will be used to replace clothes that wear out on Mars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowtired14 View Post
I finally watched that whole video. YIKES!!! I'd hate to be locked in a can with a couple of those characters. It sounded like they all came from the same therapy group, depressed and nothing to live for. Wait til they go to Mars.
I would think that actual candidates would be screened perhaps by putting them into a Mars simulator, like the one the Russians have, the Mars-500. It wouldn't go well if even one person got stir crazy and started going bonkers.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MARS-500
6 Mock Mars Explorers Emerge from 520-Day Virtual Mission
The Mars500 Experiment Ends - Photo Essays - TIME
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Old 05-16-2017, 11:38 AM
 
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Maybe it could be a reality TV show?
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Old 05-16-2017, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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Originally Posted by rwocmo View Post
Maybe it could be a reality TV show?
If there is intelligent life in the universe, trying to export reality tv would be all the reason they needed to wipe us out as a species.
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